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PAP Conference 2024 – Patient Assistance & Access Programs
March 17-20, 2025
See You Next Year!Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown | Philadelphia, PA

Michael Riotto
. at Multiple Myeloma Survivor


Michael Riotto had virtually no symptoms of multiple myeloma until a tumble in the waves at the beach resulted in a fractured neck. In reflecting back, Michael says months earlier he did have some unexplainable fatigue and pain in his ribs, but all tests at that time were inconclusive. This time, however, the results showed bones his doctor described as “moth eaten.” Michael was just 51 years old at the time of his diagnosis in 2011. He said both he and his wife were completely shocked and clueless—they didn’t even know this disease existed. Michael recounted that the hospital staff could see that he and his wife were like “deer in the headlights” and made all the arrangements for what they were told was the proper protocol, which included chemo therapy and infusions. Within a few days of his first treatment, Michael began his research and soon approached his doctor about autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). After many more tests, his doctors were confident he would be a good candidate, and on December 29, 2011, Michael had his autologous stem cell transplant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He said his doctors’ confidence in ASCT and the potential for remission were his deciding factors. The biggest concerns Michael had were the extended hospital stay and the risk of getting an infection because his immune system would be compromised. While Michael did get an infection in his PICC line after his ASCT, he did recover and says that after about three months he was feeling, “pretty good”. Michael says the biggest challenge today is not being able to do everything he thinks he should be able to do. Because his bones are brittle, it’s a fine line between pushing himself and protecting himself. Michael said his wife and family have been a huge source of support. “I keep reminding myself,” he said, “that if I want to live longer and stronger and be around for them, I need to protect myself.” Today one of Michael’s favorite forms of exercise is walking—“it clears the mind,” he said. Michael is a man who sets his sights on the future: his first goal – to see his daughter graduate from college – was realized in 2013. Today, he’s anticipating his son’s graduation from high school in 2017. His advice is, “Remember that life is great and that there’s always a silver lining - you just have to find it! Every day I wake up, I’m a happy man.

Agenda Sessions

  • Finding the Silvering Lining — Hear, See and Feel the Influence of Patient Assistance


At this event